Tuesday 31 March 2020

My Facebook Messenger gets a virus, some old and newish photos of Thanet

I had some malicious attack on Facebook Messenger yesterday and in view of the current situation, where it may be the only means that people have of contacting some family and friends I thought I'd better explain what happened in some detail.

One of my friends sent me a message via Facebook Messenger, titled “Michael is it you” and unthinkingly I clicked on the video in the message.

This infected my Facebook Messenger and it sent out about 30 messages to friends saying the same thing. I think it highly likely that some of them will have their Messenger accounts do the same thing mine did.

This didn't infect either my computer or any other devices, I've run my virus checker and so on. Most of the advice about this on Google makes the suggestion that your computer may have been infected and that you need to buy expensive anti-virus software. I think the bottom line here is, that it is only Facebook messenger that was infected and this is probably more Facebook's fault than mine.

I got a message from Facebook asking me to change my password which I did. However Facebook stopped me from much of my usual activity including messaging the people who had been maliciously messaged, apart from those who replied to me telling me they thought I had some sort of virus. Anyway I think they stopped me from sending messages apart from replies and sending or posting anything with a link in it.

I tried messaging Facebook Help, but this isn't working properly at the moment so I couldn't actually get a sensible message though I believe that after 24-hours I can post normally to Facebook and I can use messenger normally.

The new version of Facebook, (you can switch between the old and new versions using the dropdown top right of Facebook) doesn’t even show you that the messages weren’t sent, the old one does.

I think the real rub here is is that if you have friends and family who you are worried about during the current pandemic and the only way you have to contact in them is Facebook messenger, you may need to consider that Facebook can randomly turn it off because of something that you haven't done.I would strongly recommend that people reading this make sure that they have several different ways of contacting their family and friends.

Another aspect of the current situation is being able to contact your family and friends reliably using your smartphone if you suddenly wind up up.in hospital.

I would say that at the moment everyone really needs to have a smartphone that they have configured, in case they wind up isolated from everyone else, and for those not used to using a smartphone they need to practice using it while they are well.

I would strongly recommend installing WhatsApp and learning how to use it it to make video calls and perhaps even engage in videoconferencing.

I would also strongly recommend making sure that there is sufficient memory in your phone, which may mean you need to put a bigger memory card in it, then and before you order one you need to check to see how big a memory card you can actually put it in your phone. Then to download a variety of material that you might want if you can't get a decent signal..

Top of the list is making sure that your contacts are up to date, after that it depends on what you enjoy with me it’s BBC podcasts, lectures about subjects that I'm particularly interested in, Oxford and Cambridge universities both have good downloadable lectures often that can be downloaded as audio files only.

I am adding to this, make sure the contact number on your lock screen is set and showing the right number, see Ray Sun's comment below.

I would think it would be also be a very good idea to make sure that you have comfortable decent headphones and possibly your charger.

 Ramsgate Pier I think this is a fairly early one of the pier
 These two are both Jebb's cycles, later motorcycles in Margate, both taken around 1905

 These two are both Margate Old Town floods in 1953

Next some Broadstairs 2011 photos

Link to the rest of the Broadstairs photos I took that day in 2011

"Coastal residents are being advised that, due to a lack of food sources because there are fewer people about feeding them, seagulls may be more hungry than normal and may behave aggressively.

A BBC article related to out local history about the murder of Thomas Becket and air pollution
here is the link


Saturday 28 March 2020

Some old photos of Garlinge, click a bit to expand them

Bit of a general ramble today.

I think one of the more interesting aspects of coronavirus is that in order to protect your friends and family, you have to make a conscious effort to protect everyone else in society.

Today's advice is - protect your postman "wash your knobs and knockers!"

This batch of Garlinge photos has been on my desk for about a month waiting forr me to get around to them

Having stopped painting and drawing for a while I have just opened a new and very cheap Works pad 
 The idea being to get my hand back in

 I have come to the point where my emergency DIY on our flat above the bookshop can slow down, carpet that has been waiting for months laid on the spiral stairs etc.

so I am trying to learn to sketch from photos instead of life

Thursday 26 March 2020

Some old Thanet pictures and ephemera and a bit of a ramble.

Sorry no competition, just photos and stuff to look at, which I hope will be of interest.

We closed the bookshop at the end of Wednesday last week, so we have been closed now for eight days. This is major culture shock for me, I permanently stopped being a mechanic of sorts towards the end of the 1970s, having tried various things apart from being a mechanic. In 1978 I decided that opening bookshops from scratch and getting them going was the thing I wanted to do workise and I did manage to get several going before independent bookshops became very difficult. In the late 80s I realised that there was some sort of future in secondhand bookshops and in 1978 I opened Michael's Bookshop here in Ramsgate. For the last thirty something years I have tried to evolve it into something that replaced some of the gaps left by independent bookshops in small towns. I have also tried to get it to produce a reasonable proportion of our family income.

Stopping suddenly due to coronavirus means I have had the first week not buying and selling books in over thirty years. I have been catching up on the DIY around the flat over the bookshop where we live. There hasn't been time to do much else, so nothing much on the blog posting front. In fact very little internet at all. About an hour a day catching up with the news and trying to work out how the pandemic is going. I haven't volunteered for anything as I have underlying health issues, some of which stem back to my childhood, so staying at home seems the most sensible thing I can do at the moment.

In terms of the government prime minister and handling the crisis, my take on politics is to disagree with candidates in the run up to the election and then once they are elected, to do my best to support the current government, which is what I am doing at the moment.

Of course if they do anything absolutely terrible, then it's a different matter. But basically I'm a firm believer in democracy.     

Saturday 21 March 2020

Just a few old Thanet photos and a few thoughts

I have to say it is a great relief not to have had to deal with 100 comments on various FaceBook groups about identifying photos so I am giving the mystery photos a rest for a bit.

I can't see there would be any way that we could trade without putting ourselves and our customers at risk, the European news is very bad at the moment, particularly France and Italy, I spent the day laying a stair carpet on 180° spiral star turn in the flat above the bookshop. 

I am mystified as to why there are non essential shops staying open, in view of the fact that the virus stays on plastic surfaces for about 48 hours, so presumably on book covers for that long I can't understand why any of the bookshops are open. 

I am drawing people's attention to the Gutenberg Project that offers a huge amount of free books in various file formats. Although I would be cautious of classics in translation, where a lot of the translations are old and not very good.

 This one presumably a pre 1900 photo say "Chalk carving at Newgate Gap" on it

I think this is Margate fire Brigade

Friday 20 March 2020

Thanet photos yesterday's answers etc.

Here at Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate we are having our first day closed that isn't Sunday, Thursday or a Bank Holiday since I opened the bookshop here at the end of October 1987.

We have also stopped our internet and postal sales, at the moment my understanding is that coronavirus lives for up to a day on cardboard and up to three days on plastic, both things we use for packing materials.

At the moment we are putting a great part of our live on hold, at least while we come to understand the main risks and how best to mitigate them.

Rushing around crowded shops panic buying is likely to result in more people dying, especially those people doing it and the people they spent the most time with, their family and friends, so we have run a bit low on some items, but no serious shortages.

I am putting up a few Thanet photos, but not as questions as I don't have the time to field the answers today

This last one is what happens when we get heavy rain on Harbour Parade, the safety elf means there can't be an overflow into the harbour so the drains can't cope and a mixture of water and sewage pours into the basements of the businesses only to be pumped out into the harbour.

Link to the rest of the photos of this event about ten years ago

Yesterday's answers
 Thompson and Wotton ramsgate Queen St Ramsgate


King Street Ramsgate